Slowthai in Birmingham

Just a year after his sophomore album TYRON released to critical acclaim, Mercury Prize nominee Slowthai embarked on his first tour of 2022; ‘Hell is Home’. I attended the Birmingham Forum to see what he had in store.

Unfortunately, due to delays in receiving press pass confirmation, I was unable to catch the two supports; LA-based Deb Never, and British rapper Knucks; however, it was clear upon my timely arrival that they had succeeded in gearing up the crowd for the main act.

Just minutes after I entered the photo pit, slowthai burst onto the stage with ENEMY. Despite the lack of a band, slowthai immediately commanded the entire stage with ease, confidently perusing the 3,500 strong crowd chanting his lyrics back at him.

The first half of the set was dominated by tracks from TYRON; all of which were received incredibly well by the crowd; this included MAZZA, CANCELLED, nhs, and push.

Slowthai delivered these songs complete with a dark and often brooding performance, however it was as the show progressed which saw his loveable side begin to shine through; delivering a beaming speech about his newly born child, and heartfeltly thanking the audience for recently enabling him to purchase a house. This was met with raucous cheer from the crowd.

However, slowthai certainly saved the fan favourites till last, delivering T N Biscuits, Deal Wiv It, Gorillaz collaboration Momentary Bliss, James Blake and Mount Kimbie collaboration feel away and Doorman all within the space of a few minutes, leaving little room to recover from the ferocious mosh pits.

Slowthai delivered a powerful, and occasionally sentimental performance in Birmingham, only reaffirming the notion that he is one of Britain’s most exciting rap artists.

Photos and Words by Jacob Swetmore 


Philip Goddard

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